Grower Sees Strong Future for Florida Citrus


Justin Sorrells of Sorrells Citrus comments on the first U.S. Department of Agriculture citrus crop forecast of the season and the future of the Florida citrus industry. “I think the numbers (forecast) were interesting — higher than I suspected … Maybe that means our state wasn’t impacted quite as heavily as we thought it was going to be,” Sorrells says. … Read More

In Peace River, ‘No Giving Up’ After Hurricane


Peace River Valley Citrus Growers Association Executive Director Steve Smith reacts to the first U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) citrus crop forecast of the season and says growers are focused on recovering from Hurricane Irma. He says the forecast of 54 million boxes of Florida oranges “was a little higher than I anticipated, considering the extent of the damage across … Read More

What Lies Ahead for Florida Citrus?

Editor’s note: This article is part of the special coverage on the 100th Anniversary of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center, found in the October 2017 issue of Citrus Industry magazine. By Tom Nordlie Although it’s difficult to predict future events, directors of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC) … Read More

Sen. Bill Nelson Fighting for Citrus Disaster-Relief Money


Following is a statement from U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) on President Trump’s efforts to block any attempt by Nelson and others to add additional money for Florida’s citrus growers to the disaster-relief package being considered in the Senate today. “I’m disappointed that the president has nixed the disaster money for Florida’s citrus growers,” said Nelson. “He said it will … Read More

CRDF Update on NuPsyllid Project and More

Citrus Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) Chief Operations Officer Harold Browning reports on the conclusion of the five-year NuPsyllid project aimed at developing a psyllid that won’t spread HLB. “The NuPsyllid project was a project funded through the USDA competitive grant program and was established in 2012 to develop a psyllid that would not be capable of transmitting the (HLB-causing) … Read More

Citrus Commission Chairman Testifies on Hurricane Damage

citrus could recover

The Florida Senate Agriculture Committee held a meeting to discuss Hurricane Irma damage on Oct. 12 in Tallahassee. The meeting featured two panels of growers and ranchers who gave testimony about damage they have witnessed from the hurricane. Ellis Hunt, third-generation citrus grower and chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission, gave testimony about his family farm as well as the … Read More

Snively: Forecast as Good as We Can Ask for


Jim Snively of Southern Gardens Citrus reacts to the Oct. 12 USDA forecast of 54 million orange boxes for the 2017-18 season. He also addresses his company’s damage from Hurricane Irma and the storm’s long-term impact on the citrus industry. “I think the number is as good as what we can ask for right now, with so much uncertainty, not … Read More

Current Challenges to Florida Citrus

Editor’s Note: This article was written before Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida and damaged the state’s citrus industry. This article is part of the special 100th anniversary coverage of the Citrus Research and Education Center, found in the October 2017 issue of Citrus Industry magazine. By Tom Nordlie What are the current challenges to Florida’s citrus industry? To a … Read More

Specialty and Miscellaneous Varieties to Watch

Peter Chaires, executive director of the New Varieties Development and Management Corporation, recently spoke at the 2017 Central Florida Fruit Grower Day in Tavares. During his presentation, he discussed findings on specialty varieties from the 2016–2017 season, as well as some miscellaneous varieties catching the eyes of Florida growers. Chaires said he is seeing a lot of interest in some … Read More

Freeze Alerts by Phone for California Citrus Growers

Freeze alerts by phone will be available this winter for California citrus growers. California Citrus Mutual (CCM) is implementing a new system to help Central Valley growers stay updated on freeze alerts. Growers can sign up for text notifications to be alerted when the CCM Central Valley Weather Watch forecast is updated. This will include updates during critical nights. To … Read More

Grower: Forecast Is Too High, but Future Optimistic


Grower Kevin Shelfer of Joshua Citrus lacks confidence in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s initial 54 million-box forecast for Florida oranges. “I feel like the (USDA) number is way higher than what I personally think it is,” he says. “I had in mind it would probably be in the mid-30s to 40 (million boxes).” He expects to see further declines … Read More

USDA Responds to Skepticism About Citrus Forecast

The season’s initial U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) citrus crop forecast for Florida, issued Oct. 12, was met with skepticism soon after being released. Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam and Florida Citrus Mutual both expressed concern that the 54 million-box Florida orange projection did not adequately reflect damage created by Hurricane Irma. Mutual, the state’s largest citrus grower organization, … Read More

Tell Senators to Pursue Disaster Relief Funding for Florida Agriculture


In response to the recent wave of hurricanes pummeling our shores, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a $36.5 billion disaster relief package last week. However, USDA-specific relief funding for Florida agriculture was not included. Hurricane Irma was the largest, most powerful hurricane recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, engulfing the entire state and leaving behind $2.5 billion in agricultural damage. … Read More

Jonathan Brown Discusses Crop Forecast, Irma Damage


Citrus grower Jonathan Brown of Bethel Farms in Arcadia reacts to the Oct. 12 initial U.S. Department of Agriculture citrus crop forecast of 54 million boxes of Florida oranges. He also discusses damage from Hurricane Irma. “I was a little bit impressed that it (the forecast) came out where it did,” Brown says. “I was kind of expecting it to … Read More

Florida Senate Agriculture Committee Hears About Citrus Damage

Citrus was a hot topic Thursday morning during the Florida Senate Agriculture Committee meeting in Tallahassee to discuss hurricane damage to Florida agriculture. Led by Chairperson Denise Grimsley, the committee heard from two sets of panelists as they explained the damage in their respective industries. The Florida Department of Citrus was represented by citrus grower Ellis Hunt in one of … Read More

Hurricane Irma Impact on Florida Orange Production


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) included forecasts of the United States and Florida 2017-2018 orange production in the Crop Production report released Oct. 12, 2017.  The report does not directly forecast the impact of Hurricane Irma on the 2017-2018 production. Although it is difficult to know the exact impact on the potential crop production, the … Read More

HCCGA Executive Director on Citrus Crop Forecast

When the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its crop forecast on Thursday, some were a bit surprised at the all-orange total for Florida coming in at 54 million boxes. A large portion of this report was put together before Hurricane Irma hit the state. AgNet Media’s Josh McGill talked with Ray Royce, executive director of the Highlands County Citrus Growers … Read More

Mutual Updates Efforts to Obtain Hurricane Irma Aid


Florida Citrus Mutual spokesman Andrew Meadows updates the grower association’s efforts to obtain aid for growers in the wake of Hurricane Irma. “It’s been a month since Irma hit, and we at Mutual have been very busy understanding the gravity of the situation and communicating that with our congressional delegation and leaders with the USDA,” Meadows says. “Everybody that needs … Read More

FCM Says Irma Damage Threw Off USDA Citrus Crop Estimate


Florida’s largest citrus grower organization said Thursday the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) initial estimate of the 2017-2018 citrus crop is well above the crop predicted by the results of their grower damage survey. Florida Citrus Mutual believes the agency could not accurately account for the full extent of the catastrophic damage from Hurricane Irma. Historically, the USDA has a … Read More

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Putnam on First Citrus Crop Forecast of the Season


Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its initial citrus crop forecast for the 2017-2018 season: “Hurricane Irma’s path could not have been more lethal to Florida citrus. I am concerned that today’s forecast does not accurately estimate the damages to our industry, given that groves are still underwater … Read More